Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing, General Mgt

6 Reasons Why Pictures Of Your Customers And Their Cars Can Be A Great Thing

By Eric Miltsch on Aug 9, 2013

A popular topic of debate is whether or not dealers should be posting pictures of their customers with their cars at delivery. 

I say GO FOR IT! And here's why: 

 

 

 

 

  1. It creates memorable, personal interactions with the customer
  2. Celebrating moments and telling stories about your brand is what social media is all about
  3. It helps drive the digital culture within your dealership
  4. Posting from mobile devices helps create more engagement
  5. Plus, why does it just have to be a photo? What about a Vine, or an Instagram video? Instragram now lets you upload video from your camera roll. Or, you could even try YouTube's awesome new video app: MixBit.

 

And here's the challenge - doing it with creativity. Don't just line up your customers in front of their car and force them to stand there lifeless. Everybody is doing that. Have fun with it. 

Add some context to their image as well. Tell the customer's story as to why they chose that vehicle. Where did they come from? Is there a special reason or story behind the purchase and/or usage? What were they driving before? Did they trade something in? 

Here's the biggest reason why I think you should be taking as many of these pictures and sharing them: Facebook's algorithm favors interaction with pictures. By creating more creative, fun pictures for your dealership's page, you're increasing the likelihood users will view them. By doing so, you're creating more opportunities for your images to show up in the content stream.

A new element of their algorithm is actually called "Last Actor." Facebook sees the last 50 people you have interacted with, such as people viewing your photos or liking your news feed stories. If a user is looking through your photos - because they're interesting enough - Facebook gives your content priority and show more of it to that user. The Last Actor change has already been enacted and is having an effect on content within the web and mobile news feed..

Start sharing. And have fun with it too. 

Comments

Interesting insight, Eric. I'm firmly on the GO FOR IT side of the discussion as well. In addition to what you've pointed out, I'd like to add this:

If you're more concerned with your Edgerank than with honoring a customer who just spent thousands of dollars with you, your approach to customer service needs serious examination. Imagine trying to explain that to someone who just bought a car--"We appreciate your business, but I'm afraid we don't think a picture of you is engaging enough to be on Facebook. Remember Flickr? Yeah...that's where it's going to end up."

True, delivery pictures usually aren't among the top "performing" types of content, but that's because social media so often tells us to measure the wrong things. What's a better indication of the health of dealership--20+ "Likes" on a piece of impersonal content, or photographic evidence that you sell cars?

Aug 13, 2013

Thanks for the heads up about MixBit, as well. I've downloaded the app and look forward to checking it out. You're always on top of the app game!

Aug 13, 2013

Comments 1 - 2 of 2

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Eric Miltsch's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Does Social Media Really Sell Things?

    For some time now we have put a lot of focus on social media. We have quite a few different types of things that we do on social media. We highlight communty events, post sold cars, deals of the week and have contests as well. We have also just started to use it to promote service work as well. We have often wondered if it truly helps. Well I got my answer to this last evening in a very different kind of way. Several years ago I started running avidly. Once I did this I started following different running groups on Facebook. This gave me a lot of tips but also informed about a lot of races that I could spend MONEY on. During this time the Facebook advertising gods figured out that I like to run as well. Then I began to get all kinds of running event ads. Well one particular one caught my eye. It is a series of obstacle races called Spartan. I decided that I had to try one...by the way they are pricey. I quickly became addicted to them and have done 6 of them around the country. So ...Read post

  • Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Directory Listings

    Have you ever wondered how search engines like Google work? How do they decide which ranking your dealership will receive for a given set of keywords? You may be aware search engines use algorithms to determine search rankings. These algorithms are a form of artificial intelligence, which are constructed to mimic the way humans think, and return the best results for the user’s search in a matter of a couple milliseconds. Nobody knows exactly what logic is used, but it is rumored more than 3,000 attributes construct a local ranking algorithm. Today we’ll dive into one of the top influencers of local search ranking, directory listings management. What Are Directory Listings? Let’s start by explaining what directory listings are. Simply put, they are entries across the web that identify your dealership. They are typically made up of components like dealership name, phone number, address, and website URL, and are used so consumers can find your business. Think about your dealershipRead post

  • Igniting Ideas – Fueling Collaboration

    Dealers across the country report over 50,000 new car sales each day. Each sale represents the end of a customer sales journey. Over weeks – or even months – each customer conducts research, interacts with brands, and ultimately moves through the process of completing the sale. Dozens – if not hundreds – of dealers, OEMS, vendors and companies influence the customer along the way. For example, in the media alone, competing advertising messages impact the customer at each level:  OEM, Dealer Association, and individual dealership. The path to purchase is complex, and yet, it all comes together. One sale at a time. The complexity of our cross-tier community sparked the idea for this column. My goal is to building a community where people in our industry can come together and strengthen collaborative relationships across the tiers - especially between dealers and OEMs. This column is quite literally meant to spark conversation, ignite ideas, and fuel collaboration. What wi...Read post

  • Stock Photos vs Actual Photos on VDPs

    Many dealership websites opt for the clean, professional look of stock photos.  While this practice might work well for promotional materials, automotive dealers should try to use actual photos on VDPs (Vehicle Description Pages) whenever possible. Inventory often needs to make it onto a dealership site before there is time for photos to be taken.  In this case, many will choose a stock photo or a "coming soon"-type image rather than no photo at all.  While this might be an acceptable temporary solution, a dealership should always attempt to get actual photos of their merchandise on their website for all VDPs. The single biggest "selling" factor on the VDP is the initial photo that loads on the page.  If this photo is a stock photo rather than an actual photo, the customer will only have a generic idea of what the vehicle may look like, rather than how it actually looks in terms of color, condition and features.  When photos of the actual vehicle load, it significantly builds tr...Read post

  • Why are dealers not completing their staff pages with photos?

    This is just a short rant, but I see this all the time.  If you go to a dealer's website, and look at the "Meet our Staff" page you might see something like this:  A single name and phone number, and possibly an email address, with a big black silhouette where a photo should be.  Sometimes there will be just a single person as a contact, sometimes you can see multiple black silhouettes filling the page.  How have you not gotten around to adding a photos yet?  My guess is that some dealers do not think that is important.  I think this sets the stage for how you view digital marketing.  One of the ground rules to succeed in digital marketing, is to treat digital customers the same as "real world" customers.  Don't give them less service, don't wait to respond to them, or treat them as any less important than customers who stop into your dealership.  Having photos on your website is part of this as well. It is hard enough to establish a personal connection with someone by email...Read post

  • Canadian Dealership’s Reality TV Show Comes to DrivingSales Event

    At DrivingSales we advocate that dealers operate transparently to cultivate trust with their customers. You cannot get more transparent than have a nationally broadcasted reality TV show in your dealership. Ride Time in Winnipeg, MB (that’s in Canada for you southerners) was the backdrop for the reality show The Bargain Brothers on Business News Network (BNN). Two brothers Andrew and Doug MacIver are the stars and owners of the dealership with their family making up a large portion of their staff. Needless to say having the camera running all the time in a family owned dealership makes for some interesting moments. However, the self declared “Bargain Brothers” see their dedication to telling their story through TV and social media as a way to stay in the forefront of their customers’ minds. “Branding is a point of differentiation for every dealership,” says Andrew MacIver. “It's how you're perceived in the local market and often tells the tale of how you do business. W...Read post

  • Service Dilemmas: What Would You Do?

    Every dealership has seen this customer—the one who demands to be reimbursed for damage they claim happened while the car was in the dealership’s care, or because of faulty service work. You might find it challenging to deal with these customers, especially when you don’t believe your team is at fault. So what is the best way to handle them?   To help answer this question, I have compiled a couple of scenarios. I happen to know how these cases were handled, and I will share the results in my next blog. But first I want your feedback on what these dealerships should’ve done. These are both 100% real events involving simple oil changes that happened just this past Memorial Day weekend. So, my question is: What would you do?   Scenario #1:   A customer brought their vehicle into the dealership the Friday before Memorial Day weekend for a routine oil change. As part of the check-in process, the service advisor rolled down the window to prevent the keys from getting locke...Read post

  • Do Press Releases Still Have SEO Value?

    The quick answer to the question is not so much anymore. These days press releases are branding, validation, and credibility tools for companies, not SEO tools.  Quite simply it means PR firms are shifting the focus of how they utilize press releases for their clients.   Companies have been utilizing press releases for over 100 years.  Initially a press release was a way to get information to the news media.  They were rarely seen by the public and were not created to be an advertisement. The point was to get the media’s attention about a story or news worthy event gets them to write about it. To accomplish this, organizations had to write a release that had real news value.   The Internet, along with media channels, blogs and social networks, has changed the press release landscape.  Company branding, pushing content, infographics and press releases became a tool in the SEO arsenal. This shift led to a glut of releases that were no longer “real news,” but promotional c...Read post